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The Sunday of St. John of the Ladder

Tropar of St. John Climacus, Tone 3: Having raised up a sacred ladder by thy words/ thou wast shown forth to all as a teacher of monastics/ and thou dost lead us, O John/ from the purification that cometh through godly discipline/ unto the light of Divine vision/ O righteous father/ do thou entreat Christ God// that we be granted great mercy.

Kondak of St. John Climacus, Tone 1: Offering teachings from thy book as
ever-blossoming fruits, O wise one, thou dost sweeten the heart of them that attend to them with vigilance, O blessed one; for it is a ladder that, from earth unto the heavenly and abiding glory, doth lead the souls of those who with faith do honour thee.

St. Catherine the Great Martyr 

Orthodox Mission

Tropar - Tone 4

With thy virtues, as with the rays of the sun, thou didst enlighten the unbelieving philosophers; and like the most radiant moon shining on those who walk at night, thou didst drive away the darkness of unbelief. Thou didst bring the empress to faith and didst denounce the tyrant, O divinely elect bride. O blessed Catherine, with desire thou didst make haste to the heavenly bridal chamber, to Christ the most comely Bridegroom, and by Him has thou been crowned with a royal crown. Standing with the angels before Him, do thou pray for us who keep thy most honored memory.

Kondak - Tone 2

O ye who love the martyrs, raise up an honored chorus in godly manner; honoring the most wise Catherine; for in the arena she preached Christ and trod upon the serpent, putting down the knowledge of the rhetors.

Divine Liturgy in English every Saturday at 9am.


Catechism after Liturgy

February 11, 18, 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1.

This class is for who wish to prepare to be baptized in to the Orthodox Christian Church as well as those who desire to learn more about their Orthodox faith.  

Inquirers most welcome!

St Andrew Orthodox Cathedral

6465 54th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33709

"If you only knew how great a blessing comes from the Divine Liturgy, then you would collect even the dust from the floor of the church to wash your faces with it..."

St. Gabriel the Confessor and fool for Christ

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His Eminence Nicholas

Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York 

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Christ is in our midst!

We have come to the end of the fourth week of the fast. This week we are venerating the precious and life-giving Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Cross encourages us to continue struggling, confirms us in our faith and our resolve to endure all things for Christ, and fortifies us in our ascesis (spiritual effort). The Cross reminds us the we must crucify, put to death, separate from ourselves, all that hinders us in following Christ. The Cross is our invincible weapon over our enemies.


This Sunday we celebrate the memory of one of the great ascetic Fathers and Teachers of the Church: St. John of the Ladder. As most of us likely know, he is called of the Ladder due to his classic work: The Ladder of Divine Ascent. This is primarily a monastic book, which can make it seem to be extreme to us in places. This does not, however, mean that we have no benefit from it.


The very title of the work: The Ladder of Divine Ascent, conveys to us that we are to ascend. To where? To heaven. To whom? To God. Now this is no small ascent: the earthly to the heavenly, the worldly to the spiritual, from death to Life, from darkness to Light. This requires effort, it requires struggle, it requires us overcoming our fears, it requires us forsaking all that hinders us in our ascent. It requires us to cry unto God day and night for help and mercy. It reminds us that the Orthodox Christian Faith is, always has been, and always will be - ascetic. This awareness is something, under the influence of western confessions and secularism, we have lost, forgotten, or perhaps, alas, never really properly understood. 


Four weeks have passed. Two more are to come. Don’t slacken in your struggle. Remember: we should be tired but not exhausted (we have work and families); we should be hungry but not famished. This will allow us to keep our rule of prayer, read the Scriptures and Lives of the Saints and attend the Divine Services with greater attention and clarity.


By the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God and all the Saints, may the Lord help us all to complete the course of the fast!


Upcoming Services


Friday, March 24               - Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am. 


Saturday, March 25           - Memorial Saturday. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Panahida. Class. Vigil at 5pm.


Sunday, March 26              - The Sunday of St. John of the Ladder. Divine Liturgy at 10am.


Wednesday, March 29      -  Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am. Matins with the Great Cannon of St. Andrew of Crete at 5pm.


Thursday, March 30         -  Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am.


Friday, March 31                - Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am. Matins with the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God at 5pm.                                                     Holy Unction.


Saturday, April 1.              - The Saturday of the Akathist. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Talk with Constantine Zalalas. Vigil at 5pm.


Sunday, April 2                 - The Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt. Divine Liturgy at 10am.

Wednesday, April 5           -  Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8am.


Friday, April 7.                   - The Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos. Hours and vesperal Liturgy at 8am. 


Saturday, April 8.              - Lazarus Saturday. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Baptisms. Vigil at 5pm.


Sunday, April 9                 - The Entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday. Divine Liturgy at 10am.


Reminder: We are concelebrating with Fr. Igor and the faithful of St. Andrew's Orthodox Cathedral, - 6465 54th Ave. N., - St. Petersburg, whose gracious hospitality is ever appreciated.

If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area and are interested in Orthodoxy or would like to help in establishing a traditional Orthodox parish in English

please call 727-239-9186 and leave a message or e-mail me at

I'd love to hear from you! 


Our Purpose

Fr. Stephen Zaremba


Most of those who come on Saturday morning also come on Sunday, while others attend other Orthodox parishes on Sundays. Some have relocated from other states and are looking for a spiritual home. We have baptized a few adults after a period of preparation, and have also baptized children born into Orthodox Christian families. Truly God is good to us!

Thanks be to God our community is slowly growing. Since our ways are not God’s ways we are traversing an unexpected path, currently serving at St. Andrew’s Russian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg. It is proving quite beneficial for both our St. Catherine’s Mission and the St. Andrew’s parish. God’s providence is truly remarkable.


First a quick word about St. Andrew’s. It is a Russian speaking community. The church is beautiful, the choir is excellent, the services served properly. While most of the vigil and Sunday Divine Liturgy are celebrated in Church Slavonic, English is used based on attendance. The Epistle and Gospel are always read in English and there is sermon in English. If you are familiar with the Divine Liturgy you will feel very comfortable. Fr. Igor and the parishioners of St. Andrew’s have made us feel quite welcome indeed.


On Saturdays we celebrate the Divine Liturgy in English, followed by a Bible Study. This started off as quite a small group but it has been growing so that we usually have about 20 or more stay for our class. Not bad for a Saturday morning!

We are a mission. Our purpose is to make traditional, apostolic Christianity, today known as Orthodoxy, available to those who are seeking it. Many are seeking it not quite knowing what it is. If you are looking for God - look here. If you are looking for stability, where doctrines do not change with the blowing of the wind - look here. If you want to truly learn how to worship in the spirit and truth as taught by the holy Apostles - look here. If you are are not sure just what it is that you are looking for - look here. We don’t make things up as we go and we don’t change with the times. Truth is truth. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.


The world is going through a time of considerable turmoil. No one knows what the future holds. The Orthodox Christian Faith has withstood the bloody persecutions of ancient Rome, the tribulation of the Arian, Iconoclastic and other heresies, the onslaught of the Persians and Moslems, Communism and everything else that the Adversary has thrown at us through the centuries. But as our Lord promised, the gates of hell have not prevailed. Regardless of what the future may hold, the Orthodox Faith will remain like bedrock unto the Lord returns.


Now some may think that Orthodox Christianity is similar to Roman Catholicism. While there may be some external similarities, Roman Catholics and Protestants, with their now 30,000 denominations, are far closer to one another than they are to the Orthodox. While this may seem very wrong, Protestantism is a reaction to Roman Catholicism and as such, while they certainly have different beliefs and solutions, they have the same mindset.


Orthodoxy is quite different as it has resisted the temptation to be altered by the philosophy of the day through the centuries. Orthodoxy is what is and has been believed by everyone everywhere from the beginning. No change. No compromise. It is manly - men love it. It is not a soft faith. It challenges each believer. And no, it is not too much for women and children. Orthodoxy is beautiful, full of joy and light, gentleness and compassion. 


If you are in the area, we would love to meet you. You can contact me at or call or text to 727-239-9186.

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The following was a letter to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (d.138AD) from the Athenian Orator Aristides in which he depicts how the Early Christians lived. This is how Christianity conquered the world. This is how it will do so again...

“The Christians know and trust God…They placate those who oppress them and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies. Their wives are absolutely pure, and their daughters modest. Their men abstain from unlawful marriage and are free from all impurity: If any of them have bondwomen or children, they persuade them to become Christians for the love they have toward them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction brothers…They love one another: They do not refuse to help the widows. They rescue the orphan from him who does him violence. He who has, gives ungrudgingly to him who has not. If they see a stranger; they take him to their dwellings and rejoice over him as over a real brother; for they do not call themselves brothers after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God…If any one among them is poor and needy; and they do not have food to spare, they fast for two or three days, that they may supply him with necessary food. They scrupulously obey the commands of their Messiah. Every morning and every hour they thank and praise God for His loving-kindness toward them…Because of them there flows forth all the beauty that there is in the world. But the good deeds they do, they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude, but they take care that no one shall perceive them. Thus they labor to become righteous…Truly, this is a new people and there is something divine in them.”


St Andrew Russian Orthodox Church

6465 54th Ave. N.

St. Petersburg, FL 33709

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